LaVar Ball is the face of the Big Baller Brand, the shoe and apparel line that sponsors the Lakers’ Lonzo Ball and has been a successful marketing brand.
Alan Foster, a co-founder and part owner of BBB, served as the business manager, the guy behind the scenes. He has been a long-time friend and confidant of the Ball family.
Now Lonzo Ball has cut ties with Foster over inappropriate use of funds, something Ball confirmed in an ESPN story by Ramona Shelburne and Paula Lavigne.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball has severed ties with a co-founder of Big Baller Brand over concerns that the longtime family friend has a criminal past and also has not adequately accounted for the whereabouts of roughly $1.5 million from Ball’s personal and business accounts.
Ball told ESPN that he believes that Alan Foster, a friend of Lonzo’s father for almost a decade who owns 16.3 percent of Big Baller Brand, had “used his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself. As a result, I have decided to sever all ties with Alan, effective immediately.”
According to documents and emails reviewed by ESPN, questions about Foster’s business decisions and communication were first raised last fall to Lonzo and LaVar by Lonzo’s financial adviser.
That advisor noticed the missing $1.5 million, and as Lonzo and others started to pull on that thread everything unraveled. If you want the details, Shelburne and Lavigne did great reporting on the issue.
A lot of players have family members or close friends as part of their “team” in one capacity or another. There’s nothing wrong with that — LeBron James has used that model to great success, although his friends worked, learned, and became well qualified in the areas they handled.
What’s smart is what Ball did — have someone independent who checks the books, does the taxes, and makes sure that the family/friends actually have the players’ best interest at heart. The stories of those that don’t are long and legendary, unfortunately.
Ball remains out for the rest of the season for the Lakers, recovering from a grade three ankle sprain and bone bruise. He will recover and be able to work out this summer.